I suffer from FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out. I’m a homebody but I’m also very social, and that creates a sense of guilt, of FOMO, if I’m inside, especially if it’s a glorious day. I’m content alone in my home, but when I’m out, I want to be with someone. I blame my astrological chart for this schism in my soul.
If you feel that other people are having more fun than you, that there is something you’re not a part of, that’s FOMO.
City living can be a great resource of things to do but it can also create FOMO anxiety if you’re not motivated to get out there—or, if like me, you want someone to do things with. In New York, for example, city life can be very isolating. People don’t make the same effort to meet up with friends like they do in Paris. Exhausted by their workaday lives, they stay within their immediate circle, their families. So if all your friends are booked up, or coupled up, you end up feeling left out. Here in Paris, where they are always out socializing, it’s almost like you’re sinning if you’re not partaking. All this creates major FOMO.
If you’re an introvert, or someone who suffers from FOMO, this is your time. Huzzah! Finally, you can stay home with zero guilt. You are missing out on exactly nothing. For once, no one is out having a better time than you. There are no shows you’re not seeing. No gallery openings you should have gone to. No date nights you’re not on. In fact, the whole wide world is exactly like you: home watching Netflix on a Saturday night. Except you’re happy about it. Yippee!
[Scroll for more…]
Take today for example. It’s a gorgeous Sunday in Paris. I’m sure the Parisians are gnashing their teeth that they are stuck inside. But I am not gnashing my teeth. I am enjoy a FOMO-free day at home, “squee”-ing with delight at all the things no one is doing without me. I can sit at home and write instead of feeling guilty that I’m not basking in the sun by the Seine. In fact, I can’t even go to the Seine because it’s outside my “zone.” That’s right: we’re not allowed to journey beyond a 1 kilometer- (0.6 mile-) radius of our homes. No sweat. This social underachiever, this homebody, will abide. After all, it’s the law.
We put so much pressure on ourselves to be always “doing,” brag about our packed calendars. Social media puts added pressure on us to be surrounded by friends, posting photos of our activities to show the world just how popular and busy we are. We are the “play date” generation; we had to schedule social time or be left out. That’s the sickness called FOMO. We all suffer from it in various degrees. Let this time of confinement teach us how to be comfortable being still and alone. Let the world turn without us for one day. It’s perfectly okay. In fact, it’s freaking FOMO-free fantastic.
Tip of the day
Make a list of the top 10 things you’re missing out on during shutdown and confinement. Then put them in order of importance for your well-being (both physical and mental), with 1 being the most essential and 10 being something that just fills the time. Review the last 5 things on the list and imagine if they were banned forever. Would the absence of these activities actually make your life better? Would it ease the crush of your too-packed schedule? If yes, cross them off the list for good.
Talk about FOMO! I neglected to add a daily tip on my last two posts, which I’ve remedied. Check them out here: From day 11, tips to feel more like yourself during this time. From day 12, a breathing exercise to clear your mind and strengthen your lungs. Scroll down to view tip.